Plastic surgery is a common holiday gift and it’s likely we’ll see an increase this holiday season following the continued plastic surgery boom that began after stay at home orders lifted. In fact, many see this as the best time to schedule a procedure. From rhinoplasty to breast augmentation, face masks and working from home are allowing many patients to recovery privately from the comfort of their own homes. For those looking to move forward with plastic surgery for the first time, what questions should you ask to find the best surgeon?
Are you board certified?
The most important question to answer as you begin your research is “Are you board certified?” Luckily, there are many online resources to use to find board certified surgeons near you, which remove the guesswork of looking at individual surgeons’ websites for their certifications. In addition, depending on the search platform you use, you may even be able to narrow your search by procedure. Board certified surgeons go through extensive training and have extensive knowledge of the plastic surgery spectrum. However, there are a lot of similar sounding names in board certification you should be aware of. Simply being ‘board certified’ is not enough. The ‘gold standard’ in board certification for plastic surgery is ‘The American Board of Plastic Surgery’ for body and facial procedures, and ‘The American Board of Facial Plastic Surgery’ also for facial procedures. There are other board certifications that may sound important but are not the same as the above board certifications.
What area do you specialize in?
If you know the exact procedure you’d like to schedule, most doctors have a specific procedure that they are known for or specialize in which can be a simple way to narrow down your search. Looking at their website or social media will often help give you an idea of the doctor’s best procedures.
How many times have you performed this procedure?
When it comes to plastic surgery, the more experience a doctor has the better. This will give you peace of mind to know that the doctor knows what they’re doing and the procedure will be done well. If you’re looking for a newer cosmetic procedure with specific techniques like a non-surgical nose job or body contouring with the latest technologies, ask your doctor about the success they’ve seen with these procedures before moving forward. They can share their recommendations on how to see the best results for what you’re looking for.
Do you have before and after photos of this procedure?
Most doctors will have a variety of before and after photos on their website or social media, and if they don’t, this could be a red flag. Photos are the best way to show potential patients the amazing results they can achieve, so be wary if photos aren’t readily available. Before and after images are also a great way to see what styles and techniques the doctors are using. Would you be happy if you received similar results to the picture? That doctor could be the one to move forward with!
Plastic surgery is a big decision and it’s important to find a surgeon who is the best fit for you. Take the time to schedule consultations with multiple doctors and ask as many questions as you like. A reputable surgeon will take the time to understand your needs and make sure you feel confident in your decision moving forward.
Pablo Prichard, M.D. former Chief of Plastic Surgery at HonorHealth John C. Lincoln Hospital for 14 years, Medical Director for Plastic Surgery and is Senior Partner at Advanced Aesthetics Associates. Dr. Prichard serves more than 2,000 patients every year and specializes in both reconstructive and cosmetic procedures. For more information, visit drprichard.com and follow on Instagram @pabloprichard.